Sunday, December 29, 2013


87 year-old Hugh Hefner published his first issue of Playboy back in December of 1953.

He got off to a good start by choosing Marilyn Monroe as his centerfold girl. Not that he actually met the woman or photographed her. He simply bought some existing pictures that she'd posed for back in 1949. 50,000 copies were sold, which was good news for a guy who, at the time, was a family man married with a one year-old daughter named Christie. Hefner and his wife divorced in 1959 and in the swingin' 60's he and the magazine helped spark the "sexual revolution."

One sign of Playboy's notoriety was a cash-in novelty song called "I'm In Love with a Playboy Bunny," by Paul Hampton. Baby boomers will probably recognize Paul Hampton's voice. He wrote and sang the infamous TV theme song, "My Mother The Car." His comical tune about being in love with a Playboy Bunny is certainly rooted in truth; a lot of guys were. Some comics (Dick Martin and Mort Sahl among them) actually married a Playboy centerfold model.

It's not easy to make a living from novelty songs; Hampton actually had better luck with straight tunes. He co-wrote Don Gibson's "Sea of Heartbreak" and Gene Pitney's "Donna Means Heartbreak." He also took on a variety of roles as a character actor, appearing in films ("Senior Prom" and "Lady Sings the Blues") and TV sitcoms and dramas ("The Doris Day Show," "McCloud").

Hampton impressed Ray "Everything is Beautiful" Stevens, who gave him a shot at a straight singing career. Ray signed Hampton to his Barnaby label for "Beautiful Beginnings" released in 1970. Hampton issued a second album in 1974, "Home for Children" on the Crested Butte label. Meanwhile, the butts are still cresting at Playboy, and they still toss a bunny logo somewhere on the cover of every issue. Kate Moss is wearing the bunny costume on the cover of their January-February 2014 issue, which marks the 60th anniverary of the magazine. You can find it on most any of the still existing newsstands. As for Hampton's tune…well, that's hard to find anywhere except…right here.


OOH OOH! An IDIOT spends $111.01 on a JOE E. ROSS single

Ho ho OOH OOH. What a wonderful birthday present some asshole bought for himself on Christmas Day. While people were sharing a warm holiday with friends and relatives, he spent $111.01 in cold cash to get "Ooh Ooh," a flat disc of 45 rpm vinyl. It's a Joe E. Ross novelty single that almost nobody would want to hear a second time. Ross, as most people know, was a slobby vaudeville comic who crawled out of obscurity to play a dogface in the Army sitcom "Sgt. Bilko," and parlayed that into brief success as a cop (partnered with Fred Gwynne) on "Car 54 Where Are You."

Ross, a variation on any number of Runyonesque Shemps popular in film and TV comedies in the 50's and 60's, appeals 99% to males. Most of 'em are as fat and homely as he was, and haplessly prone to laying out money to get laid (as Ross so often did). Only some aging, no-life loser would spend blowjob money just to hear "Ooh Ooh" as rasped by Joe E. Ross. $111.01 for what you can download here for free? Watta dope. "Ooh Ooh" has been on the blog for quite a while. Then again, maybe the guy in question was indulged via a check from his frail and ancient mom, and told, "Buy something nice for yourself…or maybe use the money to take a girl out to dinner and a movie." Instead he spent $111.01 for a Joe E. Ross record.

This is the type of guy who couldn't hold a job and still lives at home. He has no disposable income of his own, and probably lacks opposable thumbs. At best, he's one of those scrawny, smelly bespectacled nerds with a huge backpack doing a Quasimodo on his spine. He's got barely enough energy to visit a comic book store or thrift shop once a month, where sellers know him as "Lord of the Shit Breath." At worst, he's unsightly, smelly, stubble-faced and obese, and stays in mom's basement most of the day with his germs and a few gerbils. He uses his Internet connection to hang out in forums where he uses some stupid name like Captain Underpants, Chicken Joke King or BeerFarts to post 50's pix of Bettie Page and ask if anybody can digitize Nipsey Russell albums for him. The rest of his Internet time is spent on snipering eBay auctions, or via Google searches, getting erections from porn photos.

You, a reader of impeccable taste, an angel of the odd, probably already downloaded Joe E. Ross from here a long time ago. Quite a few, who haven't subscribed via RSS feed, downloaded it just by Googling his name and "Ooh Ooh," as this blog turns up in the Top 10 in such a search. The sound on the copy below is certainly equal to the VG+ item on eBay. In terms of comedy quality, VG- (very goofy) is about all you could give it, and that's praise enough for a quickie cash-in from a character comic who is funny only in very small doses. An episode or two of "Bilko," "Car 54" or his final attempt (paired with Imogene Coca, "It's About Time") is more than enough for anyone with a pulse.

If you want more details on "Ooh Ooh" and Joe E. Ross, just type his name into the search at the top left of this page and you'll get to the original post. Others, already exhausted from reading the above, just click the link, and you'll get, free:



More good news for suicidal record store owners and eBay vinyl sellers who are slowly starving! Not only did Joe E. Ross's novelty single (see above) get $111, but on that same Christmas Day, Ken Rank's dopey "Twin City Saucer" single went for $51. Yes, if you have a really obscure single, and at least two or three affluent maniacs who still collect records like they think they'll never die, you can still make money (once in a while) selling vinyl! One selling point for this indie single of local (Michigan) interest, was that it was (gasp!) actually autographed by the late Ken himself. $51 is quite a great sale for a lowly break-in single.

There are people who will break into your home for $50. For $5 even. If you're a longtime fan of the blog, you might remember a posting about Anne Pressly, an attractive blonde newscaster (KATV, Arkansas) who was the victim of a break-in. The monkey who was after a few dollars, decided to bash her face in as she lay in bed sleeping. Presley's mother could hardly identify her daughter's dead body, the pretty face smashed "beyond recognition."

Some 40 or 50 years ago, the "break-in" you were most likely to experience was yours for a dollar; a very stupid novelty single. A narrator would lob easy questions into a microphone, and the "answers" would be clips from current hit songs. Haw haw haw. Dickie Goodman was the master of such harmonic moronics, and it helped that he had a comical voice that seemed to cross Walter Winchell with Allan Sherman. His "Flying Saucer" (on his own Luniverse label) was a hit circa 1956. Here, a local disc jockey (the "Twin Cities" are not Minneapolis and St. Paul but the more obscure St. Joseph and Benton Harbor) talks about the arrival of a flying saucer (something Goodman had joked about ten years earlier):

Ken: It could be that there is more known about these objects than the public's being told. Maybe-
Herman's Hermits: "There's a kind of hush all over the world."
Ken: These things have been spotted from Benton Harbor and St. Joseph all across Michigan and even -
Tom Jones: "Detroit city…"
Ken: We talked to one Benton Harbor man, and asked him: "Sir, what effect did seeing this object have on you?"
Lee Hazlewood: "My eyes grew heavy and my lips, they could not speak…"
Ken: We asked a group of high school students: what were you doing when you saw the saucer?
Simon and Garfunkel: "Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy."
Ken: "We understand that you students were stopped by the police just before you sighted the saucer. What did the policemen say to you?"
Simon and Garfunkel" "Slow down you move too fast."

There's supposed to be recognition humor (the stars singing) to offset the incredible clumsiness of the straight line set-ups. To quote the end of a Mort Sahl joke (about an Army officer with dozens of medals on his uniform), it's "impressive. If you're twelve." Probably it was somebody who remembered this thing when he was 12 that caused him to actually sniper this item from someone who'd bid a maximum of $50. I gotta admit that when I was 12, I thought Dickie Goodman's quick-splice antics and idiot vocals were pretty funny. The guy was still doing 'em in the 70's and 80's...although by then, I found the style more nostalgic than hilarious.

Ken Rank? The man from West Plains, Missouri was a star on local ball teams (how about them West Plains Zizzers?) but following Navy service became a disc jockey. He was heard over KTCS in Fort Smith (Arkansas), WSJM in St. Joseph-Benton Harbor (Michigan) and KRMG in Tulsa (Oklahoma). It was while at WSJM (6pm to 9pm) that he and fellow DJ Tom O'Brien (9pm to midnight) wrote "Twin City Saucer." The inspiration to resurrect Dickie Goodman's ancient "Flying Saucer" idea came from actual UFO reports at the time. A spate of sightings were reported from LaPort, Indiana to South Haven, Michigan. The duo spent 3 hours figuring out questions and musical answers…and seven hours to edit and splice the result. When they played it on the air, fans instantly asked to get copies. Rank and O'Brien managed to press up some copies.

$51 to buy it recently? O'Brien recalls: "We paid $175 for 300 45's." The single was so cheaply done, they forgot about a B-side. The record label owner gave them an instrumental from one of his other artists, The Jades, and it was re-titled "Ken's Thing." Now, how to sell this indie single?

"We spent days going around to all the record stores & asking for “space.” We even had them in a fast food joint called Roxy’s Drive Inn. We worked out a deal if you buy a burger you’d get a free copy of the 45. They were on sale in Kroger’s Food Store, Goodman & Goldbaum Men’s Store and many more places I can’t recall. All 300 records sold out in 3 weeks and we placed another order – this time for 1,000. We began sending out fliers & 45′s to radio stations in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Alpena and Lansing – hoping for some airplay. We even got a call from WCFL in Chicago requesting a copy. CFL never played it – and by this time the UFO stories had become a distant memory. Eventually we sold almost all of the 2nd run – about 800. The rest we gave to family & friends."

Ken Rank eventually left the teen-oriented Top 40 world, which was a young man's game. He knew which way the wind was blowing, and became a weather man. He diversified by owning his own video production company, VideoBase. He had his own TV show for a while, "Ken's Window" as well. In 1996 he moved to Tulsa, producing both local TV commercials and material for the national cable Weather Channel. Health problems slowed him down in 2002. On January 9th 2004, he underwent a lung transplant, but he died of complications from the surgery on June 20th.


Thursday, December 19, 2013


After some alarming tweets from Penn Jillette, including the news Al Goldstein was "unresponsive and not doing well" at a Brooklyn nursing home, the bad news came today. Al Goldstein has died.

Ironic, that a few years ago he was convalescing in the same V.A. Hospital that Bobby Cole was in. Bobby managed to leave, after a heart episode and return to playing the piano and working nightlubs. Al suffered a stroke, lost weight, and was clearly in declining health over the past year. Even so, he managed from time to time do a few interviews from his hospital bed, and to meet with some of those who still were loyal admirers.

Sure, Al was a publisher…he made a hell of a lot more money than his staff or his freelancers. He showed it off, too, in some maddening ways. The guy had a room in his lavish townhouse that was pretty much a damn store, with a million bucks worth of watches in plastic cases. He was certainly crude, arrogant, exasperating and wrong in his handling of many things, but he also had the humility to be self-effacing and humorous about himself.

Frankly, our paths did not intersect very often. I think I had maybe three conversations with him. He was, in a way, just another of those guys better admired from afar. But what he's left behind IS a legacy, and if he hoped that one day he'd be remembered in the same way as Lenny Bruce, his wishes came true. The New York Times obit was pretty complimentary, and gave him his due.

He is a classic example, to misquote Shakespeare, that "the smutty, repulsive things men do live after them, the merely stupid are just in turds with their bones." Meaning? Meaning that for all his faults, and whether he only intended to make money and get laid or not, Goldstein should be remembered as a freedom fighter, as a guy who literally put his life on the line as he challenged bigots and antisemites and bluenoses, rolled through the courts fighting censorship, earned the praise of cover-story celebs John and Yoko (among others), and helped launch the careers of many artists and writers. Larry Flynt would be nobody without Goldstein. If he hadn't battled Pillsbury, the right to parody a big company may have inhibited other writers and publishers for years. If he hadn't found a way to keep a newspaper going by backpage hooker ads, The Village Voice would have wanly wavered into oblivion years ago.

I could go on, but I just found out about Al's passing, and I did want to get this onto the blog as soon as possible. I was thinking, what kind of tribute song, or songs could I put with this? I was thinking of Chinga Chavin's stuff, but frankly, it ain't revolting enough. Al's great SCREW magazine (actually a weekly tabloid) was loaded with great, gross humor. So, on short notice, here's two from Larry Pierce, a C&W guy who does specialize in, least, Hustler-esque (ie, not urban Jewish) filth.

"Girls were made to Fuck" is about getting caught by Dad while reading a dirty magazine. "Good Hard Fucking" is just a smutty catalog of dirty doings, with a refrain that suggests that kink may be ok, but "good hard fucking" is still best of all.

Here's hoping that if there IS something after death, Al Goldstein is enjoying a part of it. And that his afterlife began by saying to the Grim Reaper, "FUCK YOU!"



John and Yoko reading SCREW. Their interview in SCREW was conducted not by Al, but by his co-founder of SCREW, Jim Buckley. It's in the hardcover "Screw Reader," which was published by Al's maverick colleague, Lyle Stuart.

"There's so much to be angry about, because people are ripped off, the election went to the wrong person, the good guys usually lose and society sucks." AL GOLDSTEIN


It's once again time to "officially" remember my friend Bobby Cole (September 8, 1932 – December 19, 1996). I suppose it would be more fitting to celebrate his birthday, but, like John Lennon, the date of his death in December is much harder to forget.

I've covered the circumstances of his departure from this orb in other posts. The basics of his life have also been covered here, and you can read his bio on Wikipedia, which seems to undergo revisions now and then, as various come-latelys manage to work in a line or two to get their name mentioned. Gone forever, fortunately, is the paragraph (from the defunct Jazzman website) that ridiculously described Bobby dying after slipping on an icy pavement and hitting his head.

Now, to "The Omen," which most fans of Bobby Cole never heard of. Guess what. For a long time, neither did I, and I was a close friend. I was close enough to have a key to his apartment (which was necessary during the times when his binge drinking required keeping an eye on him and making sure he was taking the medication that was supposed to help keep him sober).

One thing about knowing anyone with an interesting occupation, is that you often find yourself having to curb your curiosity. You don't want to seem like a brain picker. You know a don't ask medical advice. You know a singer, and you refrain from asking a lot of dumb fan questions. People who don't know me well, and start quizzing me about music, publishing, photography, radio, or other things that have marked my professional career, are not going to waste my time for too long. And those that do know me well, sometimes won't get much of a response if the questions are boring and involve things I've discussed way too often.

Fortunately with Bobby, I really didn't give a damn about Judy Garland (the subject of most fan interest in Bobby, due to his years of working and romancing with her). Bobby would often relax and regale with stories about Judy or Sinatra, or talk about the heyday of Jilly's etc., but it was of his own volition. But, if I followed up with a question, he might change the subject, as if I was getting too personal, or coming on like a reporter with a note pad. (The Photoshop montage is from an appearance on "The Judy Garland Show" made about three years before he recorded "The Omen.")

What I was more likely to ask about, instead of gossip about star-friends of his, was his music. Maybe a lyric line, maybe why he wrote his sheet music in extremely complex keys with a ton of sharps and flats. Mostly he liked this kind of shop-talk. After we were discussing the status of his new demos (for "Hole in the Corner Man," the album he kept putting off finishing), I said, "I've got your Columbia album, the one on Concentric, and the Bojangles single. Do I have everything?" He glanced, looked away, and said "Yeah." But…

….your download is the follow-up single to "Mister Bojangles." It's called "The Omen." It fulfilled his two-record contract with Date Records. Why he didn't mention "The Omen" to me, I have no idea. By the time I came across it Bobby was already gone.

Bobby was a complex guy, more than just a jazz singer, or a saloon piano player. Despite his gruff New York demeanor, he was quite erudite and well-read. His lyrics often had some intellectual cool. A lot of brainy jazz writers (Leonard Feather, Nat Hentoff, etc.) liked to mention that jazz lyrics weren't just light, or scat-singing silly, but often could be starkly poetic ("Strange Fruit") or sophisticated with complex inner rhymes (Cole Porter, etc.). Bobby's lyrics sometimes winked towards Cole Porter ("No Difference At All" comes to mind) or contained a poet's haunting imagery ("Growing Old"). Symbolism and references requiring some education ("Bus 22 to Bethlehem") were also part of Bobby's artistry.

"The Omen" seems to me a pretty defiant choice for a follow-up single to "Mister Bojangles," the Jerry Jeff Walker song that Bobby had masterfully transformed from a C&W strum into a moving ballad. His arrangement, used in subsequent cover versions from George Burns to Sammy Davis Jr. and back, emphasized the poetic aspects of the song, and the internal rhymes. The flip side, "Bus 22 to Bethlehem," was pure Bobby Cole, reflecting his life-long interest in religion (he did attend Sunday services after a wild Saturday night). And for his follow-up, he chose an even heavier set of lyrics.

"The Omen" begins with serious portent (the tolling of bells) and if that didn't put off disc jockeys, the tune's flute accents and jazz-pop arrangement had to. Then there's Bobby's voice. While he could actually drive home any song powerfully in concert (he was only about 36 when this single came out) he had chosen to sing softly on "Bojangles" and this song also has him in kind of a haggard state, world-weary as much as worldly-wise.

The lyrics, at the dawn of the psych-pop age, were still way too symbolic and advanced for a Top 40 single, and probably mystified any disc jockey who tried to make sense of them. There were exceptions ("Whiter Shade of Pale" a hit in the summer of 1967, a year before this was released) but not many. Even The Beatles kept their weirder stuff for their albums, not their singles. Ironically The Zombies were on Date Records at the same time as Bobby, and the somewhat mystical "Time of the Season" (Date 1628) was probably part of the same batch of new releases as Bobby's The Omen (Date 1630). Too bad that Date (basically a singles division of Columbia) didn't springboard "Bojangles" and "The Omen" onto a full album back then.

When daylight was still sleeping under the sea
And a few lingering stars in the heavens shone
Up from her pillow rose the blushing bride to be
It was the last time she was to sleep alone

Twas a handsome youth she buried her heart and her soul in
and she vowed to make the last tide just before noon
and it's been said that once the heart of a maid is stolen
the maiden herself will steal after it soon

She looked in the glass which few women miss
In which all women find time for a sly glance or two
A young butterfly fresh from a night flower's kiss
Flew between her and the mirror shading her view

Enraged at the insect for hiding her graces
She brushed him aside, and he fell, never to rise
Ah, said the girl, such is the pride of our faces
For which the soul's beauty and innocence too often die

Sometimes Bobby and I talked about his lyrics…sometimes there was a particular phrase that was intriguing. "'Melancholy bait? How did you come up with melancholy bait?" Or he'd explain why he wanted to call his new album "The Hole in the Corner Man." But "The Omen." You're on your own. Bobby's still around, but only when your turntable is spinning. Or your iPod is glowing. friend Bobby Cole. Here's THE OMEN.



There are few "living legends" among actors, and one of them died last week: Peter O'Toole. Most everyone over the age of 30 could point to at least one performance by this actor that is classic. It may have been one of the roles for which he was nominated (but didn't win) an Oscar: "Lawrence of Arabia," "Becket," "Lion in Winter," "Goodbye Mr. Chips," "The Ruling Class," "The Stunt Man," "My Favorite Year" or, in 2006, "Venus." It seems that in the past decade, the bar for fine acting has been lowered, and the "actors" who do well at the box office include Ben Stiller, Vin Diesel, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and Will Smith.

Of the Oscar statue, O'Toole wryly mentioned that he would like to "win the lovely bugger outright." rather than get an honorary one. By that time, he was one of the last of his generation...classically trained, possessing true "star" magnetism, and living a life that could (and has) been told via a stream of outrageous anecdotes. O'Toole himself liked to amuse talk show hosts with his tales of alcoholic excess, but he was quite mum on the consequence of operation that took out much of his intestines. Just how this affected his digestion and diet may have damaged his image as a carefree bon vivant.

Of all the movies in the Peter O'Toole filmography the one that instantly came to mind when he died is "The Stunt Man." He plays the symbolically named Eli Cross. It was originally promoted as a thriller where "nothing is quite what it seems." Most every frame is loaded with double meanings, doubt or enigma, and O'Toole presents devilish and God-like properties to add to the confusion. As the charismatic director of fantasy and twisted reality, he's of sexual interest to females...and males. "The Stunt Man" was one of the first O'Toole movies that made comic and ironic use of his campy streak of world-weary sophistication. Of course, his most famous character, T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) was a homosexual masochist, but few knew that at the time and fortunately the film was G-rated. The very gay Noel Coward mentioned at the time that the beauty of O'Toole was grand enough to re-name the movie "Florence of Arabia." A few more decades, and with waning testosterone, and O'Toole often make talk show appearances dressed as a theatrical dandy, with slouch hats, garish neckties and a flamingly loud silk hankie tucked into his breast pocket. It was all part of O'Toole's larger-than-life persona, right up there with Richard Burton or Richard Harris. And, speaking of Dicks, Groucho was a big fan because Peter O'Toole, he said, was a name with two slang terms for "penis."

The soundtrack music for "The Stunt Man" is by the underrated Dominic Frontiere. He began his career working for Randy Newman's uncles, Lionel and Alfred Newman. He scored TV shows in the 60's, seeming to do his best work on rousing series such as "The Rat Patrol" and "Twelve O'Clock High." His march-tempo main theme for "The Stunt Man" is in that category; just overblown with an almost Monty Python Theme'd (Sousa) circus-like excess. Frontiere's movie credits before "The Stunt Man" include "Hang 'em High," "Chisum" and "On Any Sunday," and he worked on two films afterward: "Modern Problems" in 1981 and "Color of Night" in 1994.

Frontiere won a Golden Globe for his score to "The Stunt Man," which is pretty remarkable considering that he basically used only two themes for the entire film. One appears on the album under multiple titles ("Stunt Man Main Theme," "Stunt Man Main Title," "Stunt Man End Title," "Film Caravan") either speeded up or with a tempo change. The other theme is heard as a fast instrumental ("The Chase") and in song form, sung by Dusty Springfield, as "Bits and Pieces."

Like "Windmills of Your Mind," the Norman Gimbel lyrics are intentionally over-the-top with heavy wordplay, which does reflect the movie's puzzlements and suspense. The hero here (Steve Railsback) is so confused and miserable about figuring out the mystery of his life, that he is more often questioning things rather than enjoying them. In other words, "Let it Be" would've been the wrong choice.

Dusty sings: "Out of nowhere into sight, out of darkness into light. You come running pushing time, out of reason out of rhyme….With your secrets in your eyes and your feelings in disguise, you come running in your fright seeking shelter from the night…And you watch and wonder where you belong, and the crowd, it moves and takes you along. And the colors splash and repaint your sky. And reality is yours to deny. And you look for someone your arms can hold, who will let you tell what begs to be told. Then you ask yourself what good are your dreams — on a world where nothing is what it seems…"

Your download springs Springfield on you, and at the end, the oom-pah loopy death march "Stunt Man" theme.

Dusty Springfield and Dominic Frontiere BITS AND PIECES & THE STUNT MAN THEME


Yes…some of the great Christmas songs…were written by JEWS.

All those Nazis out there, those Tea Baggers, those fundamentalist Christians showing up at cemeteries to show off hate placards…they'll be home for Christmas. You can count on them. They'll be full of peace on Earth and good will toward everyone who is the same race and religion as they are. They'll listen to Christmas tunes (listed below) and ignore the truth…that they were written by Jewish songwriters who had enough empathy and appreciation for Christmas tradition that they could convincingly write classic songs about the holiday.

True racism is such a sign of stupidity. EVERY member of a particular color or religion should be shunned? Some "good Christians" who admire Paul Simon, Dinah Shore, Dear Abby, Kirk Douglas, Freud, Einstein or Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, or Bob Dylan…or who ogle Lauren Bacall, Natalie Portman or Tina Louise…would want them dead?

How bizarre, hypocritical and just plain dumb are people who think theirs is the "master race," and would not hire or allow a relationship with someone "not like us." Even more sinister is when "not good enough to marry my sister" or "not someone I'd invite to the house because of THAT color or THAT religion" escalates to economic sanctions ("I won't hire HER") or outright violence. Really Mr. Christian? You are entertained by these people but you hate them and make jokes and vicious remarks about Jews? About Jake Gyllenhaal, Mila Kunis, Shia LaBeouf, Emmy Rossum, Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter), Michelle Trachtenberg, Elizabeth Berkley, Adrien Brody, Brooke Burke, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kate Hudson, Amanda Peet, Winona Ryder, Maya Rudolph, Alicia Silverstone, Tori Spelling, Rachel Weisz, Jack Black, Gina Gershon, Lisa Kudrow, Lou Reed, the duo known as Steely Dan, Pink, Lenny Kravitz, Adam Levine, Warren Zevon, Carole King, Carly Simon, David Lee Roth, Mark Knopfler, the J. Geils Band, Herb Alpert, Andrew Dice Clay, Janis Ian, Geddy Lee, Marc Bolan, Mama Cass, Leslie West, Groucho Marx, Billy Crystal, Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, and Phil Ochs??

You, Mr. Antisemite out there, you'd LYNCH the Three Stooges?? Idiot bigots would rather scream the bullshit about how the Jews killed Jesus, than acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew. Jew ready for the list? It features some of the best…and worst of the holiday (Christmas, wintertime) soundtrack.

WHITE CHRISTMAS - Yes, this was just one of many ("Easter Parade" and "God Bless America" being others) from the pen of Irving Berlin. He also wrote "Happy Holiday." Go ahead, say he was just a conniving Jew out for money, and clever enough to write one of the most sincere and lovely ballads ever to be groaned by Bing Crosby. Except, for a Jew, Berlin was awfully generous…every cent from "God Bless America," for example was donated to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations. David Hinckley of the Daily News: "If it weren’t for Jewish songwriters and moviemakers, a big chunk of our Christmas tradition would melt away faster than Frosty the Snowman….“White Christmas,” was written by Irving Berlin, whose Jewish parents transported young Israel Baline from Siberia to the Lower East Side some 50 years earlier…he told his secretary, “This is the best song I’ve ever written. Heck, it’s the best song anyone’s ever written.' What’s clearer and sadder is that Berlin, while not an Observant Jew, found little personal joy in the day. His son Irving Jr., three weeks old, died on Christmas in 1928.That might be part of the reason “White Christmas” has such a strong undertone of melancholy, yearning for something that feels just out of reach."

SANTA BABY - by JOAN ELLEN JAVITS and PHILIP SPRINGER. Oh, those Jews. TWO of them in this case, and not only did they write a hip pop tune, it was sung by Eartha Kitt, a black woman! Joan Javits was the niece of Republican-Liberal senator Jacob Javits.

SANTA CLAUS IS BACK IN TOWN - is another item in the vast songbook of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who wrote so many great songs for black artists (including Big Mama Thornton and The Coasters).

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER - Just about the most annoying novelty record of all-time, it was written by the team of MARKS and MAY. Johnny Marks redeemed himself, slightly, with the less obnoxious "A Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Marks is the great uncle of Steven Levitt, author of "Freakonomics."

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW - One of the world's wimpiest tunes, it embarrasses me every time I hear Dean Martin emote, "The weather outside is FRIGHTFUL." Yeah, like he didn't live in California and Las Vegas most of the time. The song was written by Julius Stein and Samuel Cohen (aka Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn). The duo also wrote the more obscure "Christmas Waltz," and there's also "Be a Santa," which is in the Jule Styne musical "Subways Are For Sleeping"

SILVER BELLS - inspired by the dingers the Salvation Army volunteers wave at people to get donations at street corners, the song was written by Raymond Bernard Evans and Jacob Harold Levison (the latter better known as Jay Livingston). PS, those two wrote a helluva lot of songs the rednecks love, including the theme for the TV show "Bonanza."

YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH - Yes, the lyrics were written by the Jewish "Dr. Seuss." The music is by the former "Albert Marcuse," who grew up in Berlin. But to avoid being killed in Berlin by Nazis, the family name became Hague, and they became Lutherans. But to antisemites, if you're born a Jew, you'll die one…which is pretty damn Grinchy.

WINTER WONDERLAND - This rather annoying song (the parody "Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear" is even preferable) was the lone hit lyric for Richard B. Smith, who died a year after Guy Lombardo first recorded the song in 1934. Smith was just 34. Jewish? Nobody knows, but the guy who wrote the music was Jewish…Felix Bernard, born Felix Bernhardt in Brooklyn.

SLEIGH RIDE - Do Jew haters also hate the lyrics for this song? One group is not exclusive to the other. The lyrics ARE very irritating, and the work of Mitchell Parish, born Michael Pashelinsky in Lithuania. Parish wrote many lyrics better than this ("Star Dust" among them), and Gentile composer Leroy Anderson wrote a few tunes much better, too, including "Syncopated Clock," and that goofy "The Typewriter" that Jerry Lewis mimed on most every variety show he ever appeared on.

THE CHRISTMAS SONG - aka "Chestnuts Roasting…" was written by two Jews. Bob Wells wrote the lyrics to this 1945 classic, and the French-sounding Mel Torme wrote the music. Torme's parents were Russian immigrants.

IT'S A MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR - this propaganda song for what is really the coldest and most depressing time of the year, comes from the Jewish songwriting team of Edward Pola and George Wyle (who was born Bernard Weissman). A better and less annoying song, at least to me, is the "Theme from Gilligan's Island," music by Mr. Wyle, and lyrics by the show's producer, Sherwood Schwartz.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS - has music from Bob Allen (original last name Deitcher) and words from Al Stillman (born Silverman). Stillman also wrote the lyrics for the very religious Frankie Laine hit "I Believe," and "Chances Are," the Johnny Mathis classic.

GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS - You're asking, "What? Don't quite know this one." Paul Simon's bid to join John Lennon and Paul McCartney in having a perpetually annoying Xmas song on the radio didn't quite make it. Maybe the African rhythm had something to do with that.

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE - one of the creepiest of winter songs, it seems to get tossed onto too many Christmas playlists even though it has nothing to do with the holiday. It was one of the lesser songs written by Frank Loesser.

I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS - one of the better Christmas tunes, featured music by the Jewish Walter Kent (born Walter Kauffman) , and lyrics co-written by Buck (born Samuel) Ram (Jewish) and Kim Gannon (not). Kent also wrote "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die." Buck Ram…well…there's some controversy about the guy. Some say he didn't write much of anything, just bought songs and put his name on them (including various hits for The Platters). Supposedly he didn't even write any of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," but somehow twisted a few arms to get a credit for it. He used to tell people the song was based on a poem he wrote when he was a teenager…and that his co-writers merely polished it.

HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING - goes back a long, long way. Not a Tin Pan Alley number, it was written by Felix Mendelssohn, a Jew whose family eventually converted to Lutheran…a good idea, healthwise, at the time.

It's also worth noting that many of the wonderful songs that good Christians love to steal via blogs and forums, were not only written by Jews, but performed by Jews. At this very moment, in some antisemitic households, there's no doubt some people happily listening to Christmas songs and albums sung by Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, Ed Ames, and even the very obvious Barbra Streisand. Let's not forget that bizarre Christmas album from Bob Dylan!

Your download? "I Want You For Christmas," sung by Betty Boop voice Mae Questel. I don't know if the composers were Jewish, but Mae certainly was.


Monday, December 09, 2013


The media...the hype-filled, bizarre, manipulating media...has really pushed Nelson Mandela's death into some GLOBAL EVENT.

Even though Mandela's legacy is local, and most of the action is taking place in South Africa, the media has descended with full force to provide literally hours...and hours...and hours...of coverage of every gathering from happy dances of joy over his death, to the lighting of candles and creation of fire hazards all over Soweto, Pretoria, and other places you've never considered a tourist destination.

The goal of the media is to make this slow-news time MANDELA time, and fire up the editorials about oppressive white people (blacks would NEVER be mean to a minority. Nor Japs, Germans or Serbs or Irish or English or Pakistanis...). As the slow, slow days move along (several days mourning he died, several days discussing the funeral, three or four days he'll be lying in state) keep the coverage only on Mandela and forget what else is going on, like Iran's nuclear antics, the latest gang rapes in India, or the bizarre climate change incidents around the world including sudden floods in parts of Great Britain that had never suffered devastation before.

If the goal is to not only cover, but exaggerate Mandela's world influence and prolong this death and burial till everyone goes into a coma, the media has succeeded.

Oh, maybe they neglected a few things...sober coverage of what this guy did and didn't do, for example. Or giving us an example of one of the many songs written and sung about him when he was at the height of his triumph, released from jail and in power.

That brings us to the lady they called Mabrr. She's just one of the many South African (and African) musical artists unknown around the world. It seems that unless the rhythms are stolen and then performed by a Paul Simon (or in tribute to Biko, a Peter Gabriel), there's still some kind of apartheid going on. Oh, just a little irony, that music is free (via air waves or the Internet) but people choose to segregate it. To paraphrase the Claude Rains character in "Casablanca," I am " find this is going on." Racism is the only possible answer. Don't people realize South African music is JUST as good as any other country's music?

Anyway...Mabrr, better known on a record label as Brenda Fassie, formed "Brenda and the Big Dudes," (although her interest wasn't just in dudes, but in women as well...this is someone who truly believed in equality!). One of her earliest hits was "My Black President," in honor of Nelson Mandela. Ten years later, she made her debut in America, as covered by Time Magazine: "The audience gasped, but Fassie unabashedly grabbed her bare bosom and thrust it at the crowd. "This," she proclaimed, "is Africa!" But America, it seems, was not yet ready for that part of Africa. "The promoters asked me not to do that again," she said afterward. Which is too bad, because back home Fassie is known (and loved) for her outrageousness."

Almost all her albums were platinum in South Africa (you'd think in that country the designation would've been "gone diamond").

In South Africa, 50,000 copies means platinum...but Fassie once sold that amount in a single day (her 1998 album "Memeza").

100,000 to 300,000 was more like it. In May of 2004, she suffered a cocaine overdose and went into a coma. Nelson Mandela visited her in the hospital, but she was brain dead, and eventually taken off life support.

On and off life support in recent years, Nelson Mandela finally died a few days ago, at 95. Hardly unexpected, but this blog MUST join with the entire world in saluting the man who is really just a notch below Jesus and Mohamed in having had a huge influence on the entire world.

Hasn't he?

Of course he has. The fact that he rose from woman-chaser and prison martyr to become President of a fairly unimportant country makes him a world figure. And while Dr. Martin Luther King may have gotten there first in making segregation an issue, and actually died for the cause, well...race is still a problem in the USA. But not in South Africa, right? Mandela didn't just make progress against apartheid by ending up President for a while, he erased it! Didn't he? Isn't that part of the celebration? Has to be. That's why the whole world has to hear about this for ten solid days.

It's like saying that because Obama became President, the United States is now free from segregation, unsubtle apartheid in hiring or not hiring blacks, etc. In the race to turn Mandela's death into a pre-Christmas holiday, the vast amount of racial unrest...affecting ALL races...has been erased from memory like everything on a DELL computer a day after warranty.

Forget about little bumps in the road, like the murder of WBO heavyweight champ Corrie Sanders just last year, September 22, 1021. (Besides, the South African was white, his killers black. So it doesn't count). And forget about the latest hero athlete from South Africa, Oscar Pistorius, who shot his girlfriend through the bathroom door. Heck, just because the guy felt so unsafe in South Africa that he needed a lethal weapon beside his bed...that doesn't mean that Mandela isn't a world-influencing hero or that South Africa isn't the bestest place on Earth to spend your vacation, or end your life.

We're in the midst of a 10 day grief-fest, with tears of joy and shouts of triumph. People are having a great time mourn-ebrating the death of Nelson Mandela, and anyone who does NOT agree this is an event the whole world should be involved in, not just South Africa, is one hell of a rotten realist. If Jackie Robinson died a few days ago, perhaps the media would likewise insist the whole world have a 10 day grief-fest, even if baseball isn't played in every nation on Earth. Why should it matter? Robinson, like Mandela, achieved something for his people, so all people should celebrate it and take a good happy hit off the inspiration bong. Any excuse to party, right?

Celebrate real world figures? Nah. Moses? Let the Jews celebrate him if they want. Jesus? His teachings are ONLY really for fully ordained television ministers who know exactly what that Son of God was talking about. Mohamed? He's for need not pay attention unless a knife is put to your throat by an Islam extremist who expects you to convert or die. But Mandela? THERE'S A KIND OF HUSH ALL OVER THE WORLD...

...Because the man fought apartheid, single-handedly. No help from entertainers who refused to play Sun City. No inspiration from Dr. King. No support from the United Nations. Nothing to do with changing times and attitudes towards blacks around the world...or the fact that for several decades, blacks were being given much more visibility in teaching, banking, and other positions, as well as in politics...and that a guy like Arthur Ashe could be winning on a tennis court instead of sweeping it. Oh...let's forget that a Jewish tennis player can't play a tournament in Dubai at the moment. Just how Mandela, the world figure who cured the world of prejudice, couldn't fix that up...who knows. Who cares. Jews shouldn't play tennis anyway. What do they need it for? Most are employed by the Wiesenthal Center faking holocaust photos.

Still with me? Then join with me in saluting the British press, and the British people, because though many cities over there were just in the midst of a huge downpour and flood...the kind most have NEVER seen before (what, Nelson Mandela didn't also prevent global climate change?), coverage happily turned away from tragedy and toward the Great Mandela Fest. I hear next year's summer rock concerts will be name-changed to Mendelabury. Peter Gabriel will headline, now that he's got to write a song about Nelson, to eclipse the feel-good dirge he wrote about Biko. You know, the one he wrote and sang in a fake African dialect (having left his Jolson black-cork at home).

Hey, fuck the British floods and the people who lost their homes and all the rest of that...or those who lost their lives at 20 or 30, not 95 after decades of doing little except posing for photos and being told "you're great."

Happily the British press knows their priorities. And if they didn't, Photoshop did.

Right now, nothing eclipses the constant coverage of Mandela's death.

President Obama, too overcome to offer up something original, like his catch-phrase about the "audacity of hope," re-cycled Secretary of State Stanton's line after Lincoln was shot: "Now he belongs to the ages." Stanton was pretty good, ad-libbing that at a traumatic time. Lincoln was, after all, shot in the head and still president.

You'd think that after the first hospital scares, and being in his 90's, Mandela's condition would've prompted America's Big O to start thinking up something really good.

Now, Nelson Mandela was a good man. Maybe even a great man. Most don't know how he made it from screwing a lot of women to vegetating in jail for two decades, to becoming President of South Africa. But I'd like to think that a few people know that South Africa is a lousy place to live, and it's on a continent that is a lousy place to ENTIRE CONTINENT that is horribly overloaded with savagery...where women are circumcised, oppressed and attacked. If they didn't have cunts, there would be apartheid against them. The African continent is wild with crazy bands of nuts killing other crazy bands of nuts...tribes warring against each other, and with no white people to blame all the shit on, they go attack anyone who is albino. It's the continent where poverty, caused by over-breeding and by stupidity, is considered an excuse to attack any ship that happens to be within sight of Somalia. There are also excuses to attack and kill people in shopping malls...the few examples of civilization in a land that nobody would visit at all if there weren't lions and elephants and diamond mines.

OK, that's enough. A little too much information and a bit of sacrilege here? It's just a response to a little TOO much coverage of Mandela this week...turning an expected death of a 95 year-old political figure into a junior Kwaanza.

Your reward for reading is download of "My Black President," which is about Nelson Mandela...not Obama. But hey, Obama is irrelevant. No point in changing the world. Mandela did that. And Mandela died at 95 knowing he not only helped his people take a few steps closer to equality...but that his example made blacks in EVERY country on Earth equal and free. Just ask any black in Alabama, Newark, Cleveland, Compton, London, Paris, Dusseldorf, China, Russia... Oh. Russia. They don't let blacks in. They still have apartheid. Also ethnic cleansing. And they're currently torturing a few punk rock chicks who dared to sing in a church. Oh well. Don't let anything stop this week's grief-fest. Reality is that any kind of racial quality or even sanity or tolerance is still a baby step for mankind...even with the efforts of the man named Mandela.

MY BLACK PRESIDENT Brenda Fassie. Her tribute to Nelson Mandela


If you like stupid holiday and winter tunes…from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to "Baby It's Cold Outside" to "Let It Snow" to "Feliz Navidad" and "Wonderful Christmastime," you'll be delirious over the Paris Sisters and "The Man with the Mistletoe Mustache." You can bet that at this blog, a concession to season's gratings would have to be a truly annoying little Christmas obscurity.

The Paris Sisters, who did have a Top Ten hit in 1961, don't deserve to be as forgotten as they are. Though they did commit the occasional hideous novelty tune or Andrews Sisters sound-alike atrocity, much of their work is as pleasing as The Shirelles, The Ronettes or most any other girl group more likely to be represented on an Oldies CD collection or PBS fundraiser DVD. As they moved from a harmonious homogenized trio to Priscilla Paris and two back up singers, they specialized in super-sweet tracks of pleasing pop. The route to teen-pleasing perfection took seven years.

Priscilla, and older siblings Albeth and Sherrell, literally followed in the Andrews Sisters footsteps back in 1954. Their aggressive stage mother arranged a backstage meeting when the trio came to town. Patty, Maxene and Laverne actually liked the young girls and gave 'em a break…an on-stage chance to sing along with them on their hit 'Rum and Coca Cola." The Paris Sisters signed with Decca that year and issued "Ooh La La." They turned up on the Imperial label in 1957, still imitating the sassy close-harmony stylings of both the Andrews and the McGuire sisters as well as The Chordettes.

It was when they signed with Gregmark in 1961 that owner Lester Sill and one of his top producers (a fellow by the name of Phil Spector) transformed the trio. If you'll pardon the term, the "zeitgeist" at the time was sugar pop; soft and sweet groups such as The Fleetwoods and the Dixie Cups would be topping the charts, along with easy swinging solo artists such as Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka and Annette Funicello. The Paris Sisters scored a Top Five with "I Love How You Love Me," (music by Barry Mann, lyrics not yet by Cynthia Weil), and also did well in 1962 with the singles "He Knows I Love Him Too Much" and "What Am I to Do," also produced by Spector…who soon got involved with several more girl groups, leaving the Paris Sisters behind. (Phil's 73rd birthday comes up December 26th…get him a cake with a file in it).

As pop underwent radical change in the mid-60's, smart producers were mixing messages into the mush…exemplified by the subversive "Along Comes Mary" from The Association and the overt "Give a Damn" from Spanky and Our Gang. There still seemed hope for the Paris Sisters, now on Reprise, and working with former Spector arranger Jack Nitzsche. Their 1966 album "Sing Everything Under the Sun" remains an unsung classic of the waning girl group era, featuring several original compositions by Priscilla that stand comfortably alongside contributions from Goffin and King (Some of Your Lovin') Bacharach and David ("Long After Tonight is All Over") and Mann and Weil ("See That Boy"). The album had their smart re-working of "It's My Party," transformed from Lesley Gore's squealing angst, to vulnerable, wide-eyed baby doll heartbreak.

Your download below does have "It's My Party," but rather than the obvious early hits, also includes two rarities: both sides of a GNP Crescendo single "Stand Naked Clown," backed with "The Ugliest Girl in Town." The latter was the theme song for a short-lived TV show about a guy who invades the kicky British fashion scene in drag. It pre-dates Lady Gaga by a generation.

Call it Diana Ross syndrome, or just common sense; Priscilla went solo in 1967. The age of the singer-songwriter had arrived, and she had enough original material for the appropriately titled "Priscilla Sings Herself." Writing to what she perceived to be her true vocal talents, there was a marked shift away from breathy intimacy and the world of Claudine Longet or Astrud Gilberto. Instead of fluff and easy listening, there was the moody "Stone is Very Very Cold" and the bombastic "message" tune "He Owns the World," two tracks that seemed to be Priscilla's bid for entering the territory of Dusty Springfield and Shirley Bassey. Hey…Dusty and Shirley didn't write their own music and lyrics…these hold up, too. But…the album didn't get the attention it deserved.

Her next album switched styles again; the Pat Boone-ish concept album "Priscilla Sings Billy." Yes, they spelled Billie Holiday's name wrong and offered middle-of-the-road interpretations of Lady Day. It didn't thrill purists who loved the original's weary jazz lilt and boozy phrasing, and it had no appeal to pop fans who didn't want to hear Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy." The middle aged white audience had no idea who she was, so would've only bought that kind of album if it was from Rosemary Clooney or Doris Day.

After her 1978 comeback attempt, "Love Is…" Priscilla suffered an accident resulting in partial facial paralysis, sidelining her music career for a number of years. By the 1990s Priscilla was again playing the occasional Parisian club date, and in the spring of 2002 she returned to the U.S. for a proposed Paris Sisters reunion concert. Sadly, nothing quite worked out for her and her sisters, and she died just two years later, on March 5, 2004, from injuries suffered in a fall at her home. She was 59. Last year, an excellent compilation album was released on the Paris Sisters featuring a lot of rarities, and "Under the Sun" has been given a Japanese CD pressing.

Your download file feature five tracks: It's My Party, Stand Naked Clown, Stone is Very Very Cold, The Man with the Mistletoe Mustache, The Ugliest Girl in Town. For those with bandwidth problems, or dodgy wi-fi, there's a one-off separate file for "He Owns the World," which you can own in less than a few minutes.

FIVE FROM PRISCILLA PARIS / PARIS SISTERS: Five Tracks including the rare GNP single

Priscilla Paris He Owns the World

TOO MANY MONDAYS! - KISS and B.J. -- also Mary and Mann

TGIF is well known. Not so much JFCIM (Jesus Fuckin' Christ It's Monday).

Also not well known is the genial Mann-Weil song "Too Many Mondays." It doesn't express much existential angst over heading to work. Maybe the song's lack of success is that it reflects the laid back early 70s, when hippies cut their hair and became Yuppies, and started to accept the idea of having to earn a living in the real world. The song certainly has none of the sourness of "Mr. Businessman," or even the masochistic irony a Ray Davies might express in being home in Shangri-La on a sunny afternoon, ignoring the taxman.

In the 70's the song was recorded by two guys, a girl, and a group. I first heard it via author Barry Mann's solo album on Columbia, done about a decade after he had a novelty hit with his single "Who Put the Bomp." His mature voice was all right, but at the time the singer-songwriter category was dominated by Southerly stylings (James Taylor and Elton "Tumbleweed" John) rather than urban New Yorkers. A more folkie version turned up on one of [Peter, Paul and] Mary Travers' solo albums, and B.J. Thomas also sang it, probably glad that the Monday at least didn't involve a forecast of raindrops.

The most obscure version comes from the rock group Wicked Lester…which evolved into KISS. Yes, that's Gene Simmons on lead vocal. And it would be a few years before a Monday involved Gene sitting at the Aucoin office and having an interview with me, which ended up with some un-PC and unpublishable comments on everything from horror movies to Gene remarking on the strange high-pitched sound that can only be made with a stadium full of screaming Japanese fans.

As a few fans of the blog know, items are only posted on the 9th, 19th or 29th. Not too often has that number landed on a Monday, but now that it did, here's...

FOUR VERSIONS OF…. Too Many Mondays

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